The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in how we celebrate and commemorate special occasions, such as your school or college’s graduation.
With purely in-person events no longer a possibility due to the pandemic restrictions, virtual events have become quite popular and most students graduating this year can expect to have a virtual graduation ceremony.
Organizing, managing, and participating in virtual events is not a simple task though, especially when a lot of people are involved.
But with the right guidance and process, you can make sure that you have a memorable and meaningful graduation ceremony. Therefore, to help you out, here is a checklist on how you can plan and organize your own virtual graduation ceremony this year.
Make use of themed backgrounds
Most video conferencing tools out there including Zoom and Microsoft Teams now allow you to add custom backgrounds to a call. This is a great feature because instead of a physical stage, you can have a themed background on the call that gives the look and feel of a graduation ceremony to students.
To illustrate, here is a good example of a themed background for a virtual graduation ceremony from Louisiana State University.
You can use FreePik to find an excellent variety of graduation-themed backgrounds that you can use free of cost. Once you have decided on and finalized the background for the graduation ceremony, you can set it as the background for your video call and you are good to go.
Make a compilation of video speeches and interviews
Graduation ceremonies are all about the memories and what better way to conclude your school or college life than by listening to your teachers and fellow students talk about their most memorable times in a speech or interview?
At a time when students cannot interact and say goodbye physically, you can make a compilation of video speeches and interviews.
Teachers can put in their words of wisdom and provide future guidance for their students, and students can share their past experiences and favorite moments across their school/college life.
For this, you can ask teachers and students to share their video speeches on a social media group or email them to you. Once you have all the speeches, you can pick out and compile the most heartfelt ones into a single video that you can then play during the virtual graduation ceremony.
Define a dress code and do a virtual photoshoot
Students are usually excited about dressing up for their graduation. The batch photo at the end of the event with everyone in their graduation gowns is something that students cherish for years ahead. But while there is no replacement for the in-person batch photo, you can have something similar in a virtual graduation ceremony too.
First, if it is possible, send out graduation gowns to each student for the graduation ceremony. Second, ask students to be properly dressed according to a dress code for the virtual ceremony (like they would for an in-person ceremony).
Once the students are dressed and ready on the video call, you can take individual snapshots (or ask students to submit them) for the yearbook picture. You can then add these snapshots to a graduation collage maker, such as these from PosterMyWall, and make a collage from it to serve as the batch photograph.
Take a look at this awe-inspiring virtual batch photograph from Hamilton College from inspiration.
Send out graduation invites that go with the theme
Receiving and reading a graduation invite is a special moment for everyone that is invited and you want to make sure that this moment is a memorable one. Therefore, it is important that the graduation invites you send out are well-designed and unforgettable for students.
So, how do you achieve this? You can make use of PosterMyWall to create a customized online graduation invite. The tool has hundreds of ready-made templates for online graduation ceremonies available that you can customize and theme as per your requirements.
With a simple few steps, you can create an invitation that stands out and gets everyone excited about the virtual graduation ceremony. Be sure to include all important information, including the meeting code or link, in the online invite so students can participate easily.
Make your graduation ceremony stand out
A virtual graduation ceremony can be just as fun and memorable as an in-person one – you just need to make the best use of the resources that you have available and follow the comprehensive checklist we have provided in this blog post to host one of the best virtual graduation ceremonies.
Organizing a virtual graduation ceremony can be quite challenging but with a good checklist and the right tools, you can host a fun event that everyone will remember.